Picking The Right Wood For Your Wine Room
July 26, 2021

Picking The Right Wood For Your Wine Room

Stepping into an expertly crafted wine room is one of the great pleasures in life. Building one of these uniquely beautiful areas requires both expert craftsmanship and technical know-how.

The best wood for wine room racking is dense, stable woods such as mahogany and white oak, which don’t allow off-gassing. That said, there are many questions that need to be answered before deciding on the right wood for your wine room.

Wine room racking can take many forms depending on your needs and style. It’s important to consider both design and materials to ensure the room works both for you and, just as importantly, for the fine wines stored within.

Questions To Ask Before Picking A Wood For Your Wine Room

In home design, you always your choices to reflect you aesthetics, your lifestyle and your creativity. But given the nature of wine storage, there are other technical considerations to keep in mind.

Before I start any new wine room project, I ask my clients a series of questions:

  • How many bottles do you plan to keep in inventory?
  • Do you want all your bottles to be on display, or will some be kept in their cases behind closed cabinet doors?
  • How do you want the bottles oriented: laying down horizontally, angled, or standing?
  • Do you want some lighted display areas?
  • Do you need larger shelves for magnum bottles?

Then, of course, you need to think about how you intend to actually use your wine room. For example, maybe you’d enjoy a cigar with an evening glass of wine in your room, in which case an integrated humidor would come in handy.

A well designed wine room can answer all of these questions with great style.

wine room

We help clients create a wine room that is perfectly suited to their needs.

How To Pick The Right Wood For Your Wine Room

Just as important as the aesthetic design in your wine room is your choice of materials. That’s because wine corks allow for certain gasses to pass through. So a poor choice of wood or finish can adversely affect your wine.

For this reason, our research and experience has found that mahogany and white oak are among the best woods for wine rooms, because they are dense, stable, and, importantly, don’t allow off-gassing. These woods look beautiful, and they also keep your wine safe.

We love to work with these woods because they are sourced from ecologically managed forests. This means they are environmentally friendly, as well as plentiful and of very high quality.

We’ve found that mahogany and white oak both age nicely, whether they are finished or unfinished.

Note that humidors should be lined with Spanish cedar, and we have a great source for this wood as well.

cedar wine room It’s critical to pick the right wood for your wine room

Can You Finish Wood In A Wine Room?

We like to use a good quality water-based finish in wine rooms, because this produces minimal off-gassing. We don’t use oil-based finishes because they can continue to produce harmful gasses for months and perhaps even years. In a small enclosed space like a wine room, this can be an issue.

Wood can also be left unfinished in a wine room to create an “old world” look and feel.

Modern designs use a lot of stone, glass and metal, and all great choices in any wine room. Of course at Truwood we’re “all about the wood,” but we also have many contacts and suppliers who can help us create beautiful wine rooms without a stick of wood in sight.

Do Wine Rooms Require Humidifiers

Though many wine rooms are designed with refrigeration units to control temperature and humidity, just as many are not. A cool dark environment is all that wine really needs. That’s why room placement is paramount.

There should be no direct sunlight in your room at all, and the temperature and humidity must be consistent and on the cool side. This is why wine rooms (formerly known as wine cellars) are traditionally located underground. It’s also why they are typically made with lots of stone or brick, so that their floors and walls help regulate the environment. Proof again, that some traditions are not best left in the past!

Our years of experience mean that we know what wood, materials, finishes and designs will stand the test of time in your wine room, while also matching your lifestyle and needs. And of course we’ll then source the materials which best suit your project. Email Andy at to learn more, or request a quote here.